Dolphins Fans Pack The Stands For Opening Of Training Camp

Posted Jul 21, 2013

More than 2,500 fans cheer on the Dolphins as the team hits the field for the start of training camp.

The Dolphins opened their 2013 training camp with a whole new look, and fans were ready to check it all out, filling up the stands at the Doctors Hospital Training Facility for the first open practice of the year.

Sunday’s open of training camp also doubled as “Family Day,” a celebration that featured fun football-related activities for the younger Dolphins fans in attendance – the Dolphins will host a “Kids Kickoff” event that coincides with the team’s home opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 22, offering $15 youth tickets.

The countdown to the regular season now begins, but there are still plenty of chances to catch a training camp practice, with the team gearing up for what is an expanded preseason schedule. The franchise made plenty of waves the past few months, but on Sunday, the Dolphins were back to football.

Following one of the more eventful offseasons in franchise history, with the logo and uniform change, a big splash in free agency, including the Mike Wallace signing, and a bold draft-day trade that netted Dion Jordan, an intriguing pass-rushing prospect, fans arrived well before the practice’s 8 a.m. start time, wrapping around the complex’s exterior to wait to enter.

After the team spent the first few practice periods warming up in the bubble, they hit the field, much to the delight of the raucous crowd. On the first play outside, the fans got exactly what they’ve been waiting for this summer: a deep ball to wide receiver Mike Wallace.

“I’m very, very excited,” said Tony Mendoza, a Fin Club member who toured the facility. “It’s just something that we finally feel the lift from the bottom all the way to the top. We feel that it’s coming.”

Though it may have sounded loud enough in the stands to be a mid-September home game, attending a training camp practice gives a fan a whole new experience. For those who have only seen the final product – games on Sunday or Monday – it’s a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making an NFL roster as the team goes through a few round of positional drills, mixing in team session in between.

The structure is what intrigued many, how the team moved from drill to drill during the blazing fast practice.

“To me, next to anything else, it’s No. 1. You don’t know how many people want to see this. It’s just fantastic,” Mendoza said. “It’s a great thing. It’s like bringing the family back together and everything, because, to us, this team is like a family.”

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